by Evangeline | Jun 22, 2016 | Father's Day, Summer 2016
Is that the sweetest little face, or what?! Meet Mr. Scrumpy, the newest member of our family. A few months ago I was looking for a puppy that would be a good companion for Silly. There were dogs we could have chosen, but in the end, we chose to search for a puppy.
There was one other contender for the coveted spot of becoming Silly’s companion, and that was a 6-month-old great Dane. However, I couldn’t make the long trip to northern Vermont to meet this mammoth canine because Silly is a bit neurotic when going for car rides. She never quite calms down and car rides cause her a great deal of stress. If we need to, we will take her in the car, but the incessant whining and high pitch squeals drive us all right up the wall.
So the search continued, until one day a woman posted that she had puppies coming the end of April and that they would be a Corgi mix. I said to myself with a half-cocked pirate smile, “Corgi mix, eh! Mixed with what?” So I contact the woman and she said the puppies would be a corgi chihuahua mix. I started cracking up because in my mind’s eye, anchored into the deepest parts of my brain were images of the most preciously awkward ugly dog in the world.
I talked with Dom about it and he cracked a half-cocked pirate smile too, and I knew we were destined to have a homely dog. When we met Silly, I thought she was an ugly dog, but I think Mr. Scrumpy will have her beat!
Then the puppies were born, and I had to choose between 7 puppies. How do you choose? They were all so ugly and alien-like.
We knew we wanted a boy, and we knew that Simmi wanted a white dog, so that’s how we made our choice. The boy in the middle would be Mr. Scrumpy.
Look at that silly looking alien face! We melted at the sight of him. We sent our deposit and then got photos of him as he grew.
At 5 weeks old, his mother ran out of milk with so many puppies to feed. He was started on solids, and by the next week, they contacted me to ask if we wanted to come get him early. We weren’t supposed to get him until the end of June.
We said yes, and I traveled to New York state to get him on Father’s Day.
This tiny creature has captured our hearts. He’s smart already, well on his way to being house trained, and enjoys being held and cuddled.
We haven’t formally introduced him to Silly yet. He barely weighs a pound and she towers over him with 30 pounds of full excitement. Mr. Scrumpy doesn’t yet know to be a dog, and to Silly, he is some sort of weird animal that doesn’t speak her language. He isn’t even interested in knowing her, so of course, she was way too excited.
At no time are they ever allowed to be together without one of them in a crate. That will change as she mellows out to his presence, and she has, but I’m taking baby steps. I want the experience to be a good one, and for her to fully accept him.
When Silly first saw Mr. Scrumpy she kept barking and making quick jerking movements towards the front of her crate. She does the same thing to squirrels and bugs, and I wanted her to be in a calm and submissive state before introducing them without the crate.
We’re getting there! I was able to bring Scrumpy out on the deck where Silly was leashed and sat between them as she calmly approached me for assurance and love. Reinforcing her good behavior has gone a very long way in getting Scrumpy acclimated to our family dynamic.
I don’t foresee allowing them to be introduced without a crate for at least another week. If it’s wise for other animals to be separated before introducing them to a flock or herd, then it’s good enough for dogs too. If Scrumpy was a year old, that would be a different story, because he would already know the rules of being a dog.
Anyway, I want the bonding to go smoothly. At night they sleep right next to one another. Silly can smell Scrumpy, listen to his whimpering and crying at night, and is getting used to him walking around outside her crate or outside on the deck.
Both dogs are on grain free dog food. If they were on regular food, we wouldn’t be able to have dogs at all. We figured out that Simmi isn’t allergic to dogs if they are on a grain free dog food. Any dog that is on regular food, however, causes her to sneeze and we need to give her Benadryl.
The first two days Scrumpy was with us, Simmi needed Benadryl, but as of this morning, she hasn’t needed it at all. The same happened with Silly when she came to live with us.
Scrumpy is one hungry little puppy, and he was able to find his bag of food and started whimpering for more. Does his little belly in the above photo look like he could possibly fit any more food in there? Haha
Just for a point of reference, Dom’s boots are bigger than Mr. Scrumpy!
We look forward to seeing him grow into the cutest/ugliest dog in the world and have many adventures with Silly.
by Evangeline | Jun 8, 2016 | Summer 2016
We’ve had a few bumps in the road concerning moving to our new farm. Because of my extreme mold allergy, we weren’t able to rent the house. Most people wouldn’t have a problem with water-damaged buildings, but my body doesn’t clear biotoxins and instead, molds build up in my fat cells.
My husband is the perfect example of someone who clears biotoxins very well from his body. He can go into a mold-infested building and get the sniffles but be fine in a week. We lived through all the same extreme mold exposures but he never got sick, and I nearly died…many times.
Over the years, I could never understand why my body would hold on to so much weight or where the inflammation was coming from. As a defense mechanism, my body uses fat cells to hold onto biotoxins and stores it. If I lose the weight via exercising, I get sick as the biotoxins are released from my cells, enter my bloodstream and causes a vicious cycle to occur. I never get rid of the biotoxins, and my body simply takes the toxins and redeposits it into my fat again. I’m highly proficient at recycling biotoxins. Oye!
I followed a ketogenic diet for more than 8 months (strict I might add) and lost no weight. Initially, I lost 20 pounds of water weight, but after that, my body ruggedly held onto the fat.
In this next week, I’ll be starting the next part of the Shoemaker Protocol after being diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). My body has handled the first wave of medications, and I’ll be starting the next phase, taking Cholestyramine (CSM) to bind the biotoxins (I have both mold and Lyme) and remove them from my body.
Dom has become my personal trainer, and after I start my next round of medication, we’ll start a very aggressive fitness routine to get the fat off as quickly as possible.
So, we’re packing up our things and getting ready to move July 1st. We found a house that is mold free, and we will also be able to have a large garden and some small animals like chickens, ducks, and turkeys. It isn’t our ultimate dream property, but it is a house that won’t be put on the market anytime soon.
Dom and I have always thrown around the idea of building our own off-grid homestead, and this house will provide us with the opportunity we need to do just that. We really like the town, and the school where Simmi will be going is only minutes from the hospital. Depending on our experiences in our new town, we may try to find land and set roots there.
I didn’t want to start over building farm infrastructure from scratch, but because my body will never be able to clear molds properly and I will require medication whenever I’m exposed, it has become clear that the only way to avoid this is for us to build our own house where there are no water lines in the house and where no mold can grow. That is the only way for me to stay safe. Before knowing I had CIRS, I just thought I needed to just be in a mold-free environment. It goes beyond that because of my genetics.
We’re designing a sweet little chicken coop for some silkies we’ll be getting some time in July or August. I found the sweetest looking silkies ever, and since I want to hatch out all our chickens the natural way, it would be in our best interest to have a small flock of silkies to spoil rotten.
We will also be raising meat birds, chickens, and ducks for eggs, so our silkies will be busy raising lots of chicks in a cute little coop. All other birds will go into chicken tractors to take advantage of a few acres of common land the birds will be able to enjoy. Raising poultry on pasture is very important to us.
Our new house also has a small greenhouse attached to the south side of the house and a very large carport on the north side of the house. The carport, however, will not be used for cars, but instead for an extended area for outside living. I’m not sure why anyone would want to park their car in a space that is perfect for spending time outside in the gorgeous Vermont weather!
The house we’re in now is still on the market, but hopefully, it will sell soon! We loved living here and I know whoever purchases it will love it as much as we did.
Last month I started a lot of plants with old seeds we brought with us from New Mexico. I didn’t know if my seed vault was still good (I have an INSANE amount of seeds) and it turns out every single seed was viable. These seeds have been through hell and back. They were in extreme cold, extreme heat, and moist conditions and still were very viable!
I started a few varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkin, and watermelon. This week I’ll be starting zucchini, brussels sprouts, and a few others that will be ready to plant when we move.
Our Silly girl is doing well, and June 24th we will be welcoming a playmate for her. He is a Corgi-Chihuahua puppy and will be 8 weeks old the end of the month. His name is Mr. Scrumpy. We are all very excited. Silly plays with Simmi throughout the day, but in September Simmi will start school. Although I will be home to care for her, I want her to have a playmate. I think every dog should have their own canine companion.
As usual, we have a lot going on! There are a few projects I’m working on, and I’ve been pretty busy trying to keep everything together. We’re also focusing on my health and looking forward to renewed life as the biotoxins leave my body. Keep me in your thoughts!